By JAMES TARANTO
Barack Obama says he's the president, the Associated Press reports from Jamestown, N.C. Seriously. Here's the lead paragraph of the dispatch:
I'm the president wrote:President Barack Obama says he's touring Republican areas of North Carolina for a simple reason. "I'm the president," he says. . . . He says he's the president of all Americans who are going through tough economic times together.
You know who else was president of all Americans who were going through tough economic times together? Herbert Hoover. Also Jimmy Carter. At a time like this, "I'm the president" isn't necessarily a winning message.
And although things could turn around in the next 12½ months, right now everything seems to be going badly for Obama. His current taxpayer-funded campaign trip to Virginia and North Carolina reflects a calculation, reported last month by the New York Times and noted here, that "Ohio and other industrial states" are trending Republican. As a result, the Times reported, Obama planned to focus on swing states in the South, as well as Western ones like Colorado and Nevada.
So, how's that working out? Today's Times reports that Obama is finding the Tar Heel State "less receptive" than in 2008, when he carried it by less than a third of a percentage point. Politico, reporting from Las Vegas, adds that "the West's top Democrats met here this week to offer a quiet hint to the White House: Obama can win the West again, but he needs to turn away from the sharp appeals to the Democratic base that mark his recent approach."